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Follow the Money: Which politicians received money from the Auto Insurance Industry in Michigan?

May 21, 2019

Anytime the West MI Policy Forum endorsed legislation, we all should pay attention. I say that because, the West Michigan Policy Forum is made up of many of the members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure

Two weeks ago, the West Michigan Policy Forum posted this statement on their Facebook page, endorsing the GOP-led auto insurance legislation.

So, what exactly is the proposed legislation in Michigan and who is lobbying state legislators on the matter?

The Michigan State House version of the bill can be viewed at this link. However, finding out who the auto insurance industry has been lobbying or more accurately, what politicians the auto industry has been contributing money to, is the more relevant issue.

According to recent data from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, there are numerous auto insurance company PACs, along with other Political Action Committees, like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, that have been spending a significant amount of money to influence politicians on this issue. 

Of the 18 PACs examined for this report, two connected to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce were among the biggest spenders in support of current lawmakers.

The Michigan Chamber, which lobbies on a variety of issues, has spoken out of support of Senate Bill 1. Rich Studley, the chamber’s president and CEO, called it “bold action to drive down Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation car insurance rates.”

The Michigan Chamber’s traditional PAC has made about $703,350 in contributions to current lawmakers’ political accounts over the last five years. The Michigan Chamber’s super PAC, which acts independently of candidates to purchase advertisements to benefit candidates, spent $1.04 million in support of current lawmakers over the last five years.

Nearly half of the super PAC’s fundraising haul in 2018 can be traced back to insurance interests, including the Michigan Insurance Coalition, which gave $410,000, the Auto Club Group, which gave $35,000, and the Insurance Alliance of Michigan, which gave $32,500, according to disclosures.

Anyone can look at all the data, by going to this link and downloading the spreadsheet

What follows is a listing of West Michigan politicians and how much money they have received around the issue of auto insurance policy.

As you can see, the only politician who has not received money in an effort to sway how they vote on auto insurance, was Rep. Rachel Hood. As with most issue that are voted on, no matter what level of government, it is always useful to Follow the Money.

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